Panama City Moves Forward to Take Care of Eyesores - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Panama City Moves Forward to Take Care of Eyesores

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A News 13 update now on eyesores.  The process of removing old, abandoned, unsightly structures continues in Panama City.  Details in this Problem Solver report.

809 Hamilton Avenue is the site of a major Panama City Code Enforcement project.  The property is in bad shape, old derelict vehicles, the remains of former structures, trash.  You will see what's left of a burned-out travel trailer. Panama City firefighters were called to this location last month after an unknown person set the trailer on fire.

It is amazing what you will find at the property…even a Jacuzzi still in pretty good condition.  Code enforcement says this area was cleaned up seven years ago.  Since then, it has deteriorated to the point that it is considered a nuisance and health hazard to the community.  It is hard to believe this property is inside the city of Panama City…just about a block or so from Martin Luther King, Junior, Boulevard.

According to Lance Livingston, Panama City Code Enforcement Manager, this is actually the second time this property has been to a hearing.  Livingston says neighbors and police officers have observed problems here for a long time such as prostitution and illegal drug activity.  That's too close for a school bus stop...in front of the address.  So The city is taking steps to take care of what the property owner is not doing.  Livingston says, "this time we will get it all cleaned up again the structures demolished, get it back to normal.  We will have the fencing taken down...it will be a clean lot.  It is quite an expense.  Yes this will run about four to seven thousand dollars…taxpayer is paying for that."

Livingston says since this property falls within a Community Redevelopment Agency location, a CRA grant will help offset the abatement costs.  It is a time-consuming process, but well worth it.

In the meantime, police officers continue to closely monitor, two to three times daily, for any trespassers at 809 Hamilton Avenue.  Livingston says the clean up should take place within the next month.  He says Code Enforcement gets a lot of abandoned houses and other cases...about 50 to 60 a year.

If you want to report code violations and eyesores, you can contact Panama City Code Enforcement at 872-7209.  If you have something for News 13 to check out, send me an email:  jbrown@wmbb.com.